DC Comics Presents #33 cover

DC Comics Presents #33, May 1981

I have very fond memories of these two comics. Looking at the dates, they must have been amongst the last I bought while still living in Wales—before I headed East to the wonders of London. I liked—and still do!—DC Comics Presents as it had great done-in-one stories featuring Superman and a variety of colourful guest-stars. For the same reason I loved The Brave and the Bold (Batman team-ups), Marvel Team-Up (Spider-Man team-ups) and Marvel Two-in-One (Thing team-ups): good, solid tales, lots of action, generally a recap of the various heroes’ powers, and a non-reliance on established continuity. This last was most important given that the UK distribution of US comic was spotty and there was no guarantee that you could follow long-running plots. That said, this particular tale is in two parts, and I remember it being a frustrating wait to see if I’d ever find the second part—indeed it may well be that I eventually found it in London.

DC Comics Presents #34 cover

DC Comics Presents #34, June 1981

The story here, as is obvious from the covers, sees the Man of Steel teaming up with the original Captain Marvel (though trademark issues meant that DC had problems using his name in logos), and things get so hairy the rest of the Marvel Family get pressed into service—including an unlikely member! Plotted by Gerry Conway, the tale is a kind of follow-up to his epic treasury of a couple of years previous, Superman vs SHAZAM! In a disturbing turn of events, both Superman and Captain Marvel, on their own respective worlds, find themselves in the other’s costume, exhibiting the other’s powers. Superman makes his way to Earth-S via the Rock of Eternity and compares notes with Cap. It soon transpires that this nefarious plot is the work of Mr Mxyzptlk, who has teamed up with Cap’s old enemy Mister Mind to cause maximum mischief.

These two villains then call upon the services of a third, King Kull, who seeks nothing less than the destruction of the planet! Cap and Superman attack Kull, but Mxyzptlk uses his magic to send them to another dimension—a dimension of anthropomorphic animals. Kull heads for the UN to make his demands, but finds it defended by Captain Marvel Junior and Mary Marvel. Unfortunately, the giant proves too much for them both. Things look hopeless, but Cap and Superman have actually traded places with two inhabitants of the animal dimension: Hoppy and his lady-friend, Millie. Luckily, Hoppy is no ordinary talking rabbit. One cry of “SHAZAM!” later and he stands revealed as Captain Marvel Bunny!! Soon, it’s a fur-themed free for all as Hoppy takes on Kull and saves the day. Hurrah!

Hoppy the Marvel Bunny, DC Comics Presents

With a script by Roy Thomas and art by Rich Buckler and Dick Giordano, this is a great story. The return of Hoppy from the Golden Age is a lovely touch, though he didn’t go on to have a long career in the DC universe. There are heroes and villains galore, with appearances from Uncle Marvel, Captain Nazi, Sivanna, Ibis and Jimmy Olsen. What’s not to love?

We even get that perennial schoolboy question answered: we learn that Superman has to practice very, very hard not to use his x-ray vision to become a super-peeping tom! To prove this, we are treated to an example of him using his powers to peer through a brick wall into a young lady’s shower—luckily, the x-rays are seemingly unable to penetrate her towel..!

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